Letters to the Editor

Repay the cost of freedom

My name is Jharv G. Tull. I am the son of Robert and Billie Tull of Oak Harbor. I am a trooper in the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment based out of Ft. Hood, Texas and I am a veteran of the Iraqi Campaign of the War on Terror.

My friends have heard me complain far too many times about how far the country has started to slip in its support of the military and our current efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, let alone in our daily lives. I wrote to a high school friend when I was in Iraq and complained that it was my belief that even my own home town seemed to have forgotten the veterans.

At the time and for months after I thought that it was frankly a huge disservice to those who have given their lives in the name of freedom for hundreds of years. I believed and still believe today, that people simply go through their daily lives thinking that having a yellow bumper sticker on their car or some similar device is showing their support. Several members of our Oak Harbor community have done more, care packages, letter writing, etc. And that I say is a good thing. A care package waiting for you in your “chu” can be a unmeasurable morale booster.

I applaud those that constantly do these types of events and offers and gifts. And I certainly encourage them to continue. But it’s to the average every day person who gets up each morning and goes to work or to do the daily chores of life I wish I could talk to. Do you really understand what our youth is doing when you sit down for your dinner at night or lay on the couch and watch Sports Center?

Across the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq and Kuwait the men and women of the U.S. military fight. We get up and patrol the lonely and dangerous mountain paths, the hot and sand swept deserts. We spill our blood almost every day while you sit and catch the Yankees’ highlights.

I am a soldier. This is what I do. I knew when I raised my hand and made my vow that I would risk and give everything for the people I serve the right and privilege to do these things. I didn’t ask or do I expect a ticker tape parade or the shiny bits of felt we get to put on our uniforms. I simply ask you earn the freedom my brothers and sisters have given our lives for.

It has been eight years since the war has started and I ask you, what have you done to earn what our blood has paid for? How much time do you donate to the needy. Not money. Time. How many soup kitchens have you worked in? Blankets you have collected and given out? Spent time visiting complete strangers in Nursing homes or gone to a veterans hospital and seen those who have given so much?

How many of you have helped at schools teaching or mentoring our children? Helped to teach our youth what it means to be free? Have you just spent time with those that need help? Maybe spent a day helping older folks push their groceries out to their cars or mowed their lawn. Not for their thanks, but because its the right thing to do.

We as American citizens have forgotten how lucky we are. How blessed we are to live free. Remember that oh so precious line, “Land of the free, home of the brave ...”? Be brave. Why rely on the sacrifices of others to cover each of our debts. I work about 14 hours a day, 5-plus days a week by the time I get home to my fiance, yet I do what I can. Why aren’t we all?

I will leave you sir with this one question, well, I will leave this to all of you to answer for yourselves. What have you done to repay the cost of freedom?

SPC Jharv G. Tull

Ft. Hood, Texas

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